Animal Weapons – Videogames vs History

If you want a game to look zany, turn any animal into a tool for destruction. The creature might be the weapon itself, useful for bludgeoning, or it might be the ammunition that you fling or fire at your confused opponents. Either way, animal weapons are usually delightful. On the other hand, animal weapons in History… » 12/11/14 3:23pm 12/11/14 3:23pm

The Gunblade – Video Games vs. History

Whilst I would never consider myself a violent man, I find weapons fascinating. Whether they are a work of fiction or non-fiction, I see them as curious inventions that say a great deal about our species. Our History is full of strange and striking creations of war. It's when Fantasy and Reality collide that things… » 11/20/14 2:58pm 11/20/14 2:58pm

How Historically Accurate is Skyrim?

I began to play Skyrim for the first time last week. After finally jumping onto the bandwagon the game loaded me into a much more literal wagon, and announced that I was to be executed; a bad way to start a Wednesday evening. I was then told that another passenger was the true 'High King' of Skyrim. "That's… » 11/12/14 1:00pm 11/12/14 1:00pm

Gamer-Teacher: "Trigger Words" for Gamer Distraction

"Legionary: a professional soldier in the Roman Army." Those were the words that appeared on my whiteboard above a picture of a Roman soldier wielding the iconic Gladius and Scutum. Before the lesson could begin, one student pulled an inquisitive face and asked: "isn't that what the bad guys are called in Destiny?". » 9/25/14 5:13pm 9/25/14 5:13pm

​Which Game Characters would help you Move House?

A month ago, I moved into my new home. The house is a big project in itself, with lots of renovation work and plenty of TLC required. Between the DIY and the new school term, I've had very little time to game in the last few weeks. That hasn't stopped me thinking about video games, which is how we've arrived at the… » 9/17/14 2:46pm 9/17/14 2:46pm

​How Does Your Game Keep You Contained? Part 2

The hero seeks a new adventure. Every Mutant Ewok of the Decidedly-Evil Forest has been murdered; the Casually Racist Imps have each been forcefully evicted from the Cave of Moaners; the hero has made so many Dragon's Teeth necklaces that they've considered setting up a little jewellery store in the city centre.… » 9/02/14 4:00pm 9/02/14 4:00pm

How Does Your Game Keep You Contained? Part 1

A lone hero seeks adventure in a dangerous world. In one hand they clasp an ancient sword made from the devil's weirdest nightmares. In the other hand they hold a giant handgun so powerful that it doesn't need to be loaded to kill from two miles away. From head to toe, the hero is clad in armour that prevents… » 8/21/14 1:00pm 8/21/14 1:00pm

Do You Care for Quick Time Events?

I love Quick Time Events. There, I said it. Don't worry; I'm aware that bad QTEs exist. After all, gamers often state categorically that they "love video games" knowing full well that bad games exist. Similarly, I'm fond of Quick Time Events despite the fact that many examples are quite awful. Quite a lot of them… » 8/13/14 12:00pm 8/13/14 12:00pm

School Trips to Game Worlds: A Space Station for All Subjects

Two weeks ago, I argued the case for an educational visit to Rapture. Last week, I set my sites on Neo-Paris. The third video game location I have in mind would probably make for the best school trip ever. » 8/06/14 2:01pm 8/06/14 2:01pm

​School Trips to Game Worlds: Who fancies a Sci-Fi Croissant?

After finishing my first playthrough of Assassin's Creed 2, I was left with a singular thought etched into my mindset. It was not the idea of being an assassin – what it would be like to run across roof troops and leap from inexplicable heights into bails of straw. No, I was left with a strong desire to visit Venice.… » 7/30/14 6:05pm 7/30/14 6:05pm

​School Trips to Game Worlds: Where would you go?

Two weeks ago I was on a school trip in Berlin. Each time I go on this trip (this was the fifth time) a student looks up at the Reichstag building, turns to me and demands to know if that was the building 'they' assaulted at the end of Call of Duty: World at War. Every trip, without fail, and it always makes me… » 7/23/14 6:18pm 7/23/14 6:18pm

​More Reasons to be a Gamer-Teacher

A student once asked me if Richard the Lionheart was ginger (we'd just finished a lesson on the Crusades). I stated that, yes, records show that King Richard I had red hair. The student gleefully announced that he had seen Richard in the city of Arsuf when playing Assassin's Creed. Once again, a video game has… » 7/03/14 4:30am 7/03/14 4:30am